Climate Action

As energy costs soar, America looks to solar

Apple Inc is considering harnessing the sun to power its iPod music players. California's Ironwood prison is installing more than 6,000 solar panels, and Boston's Fenway Park is tapping solar power for Red Sox baseball games.

  • 06 June 2008
  • Simione Talanoa

Apple Inc is considering harnessing the sun to power its iPod music players. California's Ironwood prison is installing more than 6,000 solar panels, and Boston's Fenway Park is tapping solar power for Red Sox baseball games.

After decades on the fringe, solar power is closing in on America's mainstream as surging fossil fuel prices and mounting concern over climate change spur states, businesses and homeowners into a quickening embrace with alternative energy.

Panels bolted to roofs to convert sunlight into electricity are still too expensive in most regions to compete with cheaper, less environmentally friendly fuels like coal without generous subsidies. Solar's high costs have kept the resource out of reach for many residences and businesses.

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